The Detroit Lions hold the eighth overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft with plenty of teams in need of a quarterback. What effect could Nick Foles have on their draft position?
The Detroit Lions currently have the eighth overall selection in April’s NFL Draft. With a number of teams in dire need of a quarterback, the Lions find themselves in an increasingly advantageous position.
If a handful of teams trade up in front of the Lions to draft their next signal-caller, then top-tier talent at other positions could fall right into the Lions’ lap with the eighth pick. If a quarterback is still on the board, the Lions may opt to trade out of the spot, acquire more draft capital and still select a player they target.
Currently, they are in prime position as far as the draft is concerned.
On Saturday, ESPN reported that the Philadelphia Eagles made an about-face decision on letting quarterback Nick Foles hit the open market. In the report, the team plans to pick up Foles’ $20 million option for the upcoming season. While Foles is expected to void the move, the Eagles will then use the franchise tag to retain his rights.
This represents a bold, strategic move that can change the landscape of the top of the NFL Draft. The Eagles have no quarterback controversy; they simply understand the quarterback market is thin and teams will be eager to acquire a proven commodity. At the end of the day, the Eagles anticipate a modest return for one of their most valuable players in each of their last two playoff runs.
Foles will certainly be traded, and he represents an intriguing option for a team that may not want to gamble with this year’s quarterback draft class. Teams who feel they are a competent signal-caller away from becoming a true contender will find Foles appealing. He’s a clutch performer, a Super Bowl winner and MVP, and well-regarded by all of his teammates.
Though his price tag will be high, NFL franchises cannot compete without a true quarterback at the helm. With Foles, there will be far fewer growing pains than with a rookie quarterback. At only age 30, he’s a short-term solution with long-term potential.
How does the Foles situation affect the Lions?
The only thing that has the potential to devalue the Lions’ selection is if other teams address their quarterback needs prior to the draft. Ideally, the Lions want as many teams as possible scrambling to select a quarterback at the top of the draft.
Of the teams ahead of the Lions in the draft order, only the two directly ahead of them, the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, are in dire need of a quarterback. Both of those franchises have the talent to contend if they were to acquire an immediate solution like Nick Foles. If traded, the Lions’ position takes a hit.
In fact, one can argue that each of the top five teams – the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – have no need for a quarterback. These teams are in a good position themselves to trade down, and hopefully they will for a team looking to draft a quarterback.
The Eagles wield a lot of power at the moment with the rights to Foles, and where he goes could have a large impact on the value of the Lions’ eighth overall selection.